Natural remedies are good to have on hand when “the crud” hits your family worn-out mommas.
Why try natural remedies?
- If you have a newborn or are pregnant, you may not be able to give or take some medications you’re used to having.
- Over the counter medicine can’t always do the trick on its’ own to help every symptom and needs a little help to finish the job.
- Maybe you’re the mom who has some littles with chronic ear infections and you keep having to do antibiotics back to back.
You’re going to need some natural remedies so that you don’t pull all of your hair out!
I’m not a member of the all or nothing camp when it comes to natural vs medicine. I am pro trying some natural things to supplement them and trying to avoid antibiotics if I can.
Here’s my top 5 tips to help you make it through the next time an attack hits!
I’ve provided links for you below to the products that I purchased or ones similar if the exact one wasn’t available. If you purchase through my link, I get a “thank you” in the form of a small commission at no cost to you! It’s like tipping your waitress with someone else’s wallet.
Natural Remedies to Help Chest and Nasal Congestion
Tip # 1: Create Moisture
Did you know that cool and dry air can stuff up your nose all on it’s own? If you add some moisture in the air you help shrink down the swollen blood vessels causing the stuffiness as well as loosen the clogged gunk that’s stuck.
Run a Humidifier
We run a cool mist humidifier to help with breathing at night. I was super skeptical about the cool air instead of hot but it works just as well. We went that route for safety reasons having a little in the house.
If you already have a humidifier that works and isn’t cool mist, totally use that!
If you are using it for your bigs, you can also add in some eucalyptus to add some oompf to the process. Eucalyptus has the potential to work like an “expectorant” would that’s found in products like Mucinex. Think evicting the green weirdo cartoon out of your nose and lungs when you add it to your arsenal.
Take a Shower or Bath
So, duh on this one right? We all know it feels great when we take a bath when we’re sick and know that we breath better when we’re done.
The problem is that I sometimes forget about it for my littles. My primary motive for the bath when I get sick is to help calm the body aches and the breathing easier just becomes a nice side effect frankly.
Your mucous evicting friend eucalyptus can be added to the mix here too if the bath is for your bigs. WARNING: I do want to caution you to start with only a few drops. I find that, for me, it can end up irritating my skin sometimes.
Use a Saline Spray
I only do this one for my little and we use Little Remedies Saline Mist. I’m not saying this is easy to get him to sit still and let me spray it up his nose. I have to do a sneak attack amidst a diaper change to get the spray in and suck the gunk out with a booger sucker.
This is one of those jobs they should give moms an award for! The end result of gunk continuing to come out on its own after is definitely worth it though for sure.
Tip #2: Homemade Chest and Foot Rub
Pediatricians recommend you nix the Vick’s for kiddos under 2 and nobody should be applying it near their nose. Lung inflammation can happen if you do so you make things worse that you’re trying to treat in the end.
There are quick and natural alternatives instead that you may already have in your house to help out.
- For littles: take a tablespoon of coconut oil and put two drops of lavender. You can rub it on their feet and a little on the chest to help soothe while they sleep.
- For bigs: you can add some eucalyptus and tea tree to the mix as. You want a 2:2:1 ratio of eucalyptus to tea tree to lavender and increase the coconut oil to two tablespoons. Rub it on the chest and feet then apply some socks to keep it locked in through the night.
**You can also do a search and find some fancier recipes that will mix in other essential oil blends along with beeswax and shea butter. I don’t have those ingredients on-hand or that kind of time so I go for the quick and easy!**
Tip #3: Nasal Rinses
Natural rinses are amazing for clearing any sinus blockages you might have. I speak from experience where I used to have to head to the doctor for powerful antibiotics at least 4 times a year to get rid of a sinus infection. With combining number 3 and 5 in my list, I don’t have to anymore.
My favorite is NeilMed nasal bottle and premixed salt packets because they are available at most local drug stores. I like that you can control the squeeze of the bottle and don’t like having to lean sideways for the nedi-pot.
If you double-up on a salt packet it really becomes the decongestant but don’t start out with a double if you aren’t used to using the packet. Think about taking a tequila shot for the first time and how you would not have ordered the double!
CAUTION: You can’t use tap water so make sure to grab a jug of purified water to have on-hand. You also want to make sure to keep your bottle clean so you aren’t just introducing more bacteria to your nose.
Natural Remedies to Help Fight Infection
Tip #4: Homemade Ear Drops
You want to make sure that the ear drum hasn’t ruptured and they make little scopes for you to check. I like to go ahead and start these drops at the first sign of a cold for my little. I proactively hit the ear before an infection can settle in and cause discomfort or a ruptured ear drum.
You’ll need 2 tablespoons of olive oil and one clove of garlic. Cut the garlic up finely and then cook the garlic and olive oil together on the stove over low heat. You want to have the oil just sizzling a little and really smelling the garlic aroma to know it’s cooking. 15 to 20 minutes should do it and then strain the oil into a bowl. I strain through a paper towel and squeeze the excess oil out when it cools a little.
Next, you’ll need a dropper to put two drops in each ear. You don’t have to put anything in the ear to stop the oil. Some is going to leak out and that’s ok.
I do this process a couple of times a day for 3 days. If I see the kiddo still pulling on their ears or complaining of ear pain, I head to the doctor.
You might have some pasta ready to eat because your kid’s ears are going to smell delicious!!
CAUTION: These drops are going to last you 24 hours before you need to toss and cook up a new batch.
Tip #5: Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) probably the best thing that I keep in my natural arsenal because it can help just like an antibiotic can. No joke!
The perhaps urban legend, since I can’t find this story anywhere to substantiate it, is that it was originally used to treat crops naturally and made its’ way to people. I did find it being sold to help sanitize seeds instead of using chemicals so it may be true.
If you read further into the material you can find on how it works, you’re going to find studies that say it isn’t actually the part of the grapefruit that are antibiotic but the ingredients used to process the grapefruit.
So, you decide if this half-way natural remedy is for you and your fam-bam or if you’d rather get the prescriptions instead. I choose to use it because I can start the process before to get to the infection stage and it saves me the copay and the prescription cost.
GSE runs for around $10 and I can treat a ka-gillion infections before I need to buy a new bottle. You do need to combine it with a probiotic because it’s going to have the same side effects an antibiotic would on your tummy and increasing yeast production.
For a Sinus Infection
Use this natural remedy in combination with the sinus rinse bottle. All you need to do is add 4 drops to the bottle with your water and salt packet.
You might want to start with one drop and see how it goes. It’s kind of like the salt packet and shot of tequila situation. You just might not be ready for full potency at first.
For Strep Throat
Several times a day while you have an uncomfortable throat, you’re going to need to add about 10 drops of GSE to something to drink and swallow the mixture. No matter what you add the drops to, it’s going to taste like really strong grapefruit.
You can add it to juice for your kiddos but they are still going to hate it no matter what. Tell them to pinch their nose and get it down the gullet!
You can also gargle another 8-10 drops in warm water to help kill the infection from the outside.
This is another remedy where you want to try it for about 3 days and if there’s still symptoms going on, head to the doctor for the prescription for sure.
Tell Me How it Went
I’d love to hear from you on whether or not one of natural remedies worked for you and your littles or bigs. Leave a comment or head on over to the Hits N’ Mrs on Facebook to share your success with the worn=out momma community! Share what other remedies you use too because I want to learn what’s in your arsenal.
Looking for another “How To”?
Checkout How to Get Your Kids to Talk to You Everyday! This is a good one whether you have littles or bigs. Start early to get the littles in a routine and start now to get the bigs talking to you again.